There was a time when I used to love travelling. As a teen I always envied people who travel extensively and many a times I wished I would land up in a job that involves a lot of travel. It was not until last year that I landed up in such a job. If there is something that this job has taught me it is this :
“When guided/demanded by an external framework which does not relate to your persona, even your preferences become a paint point”
For when I travel, “BUSINESS” is stamped on every move of mine and especially when it involves training the most difficult population in INDIA to be trained,it makes every other alternative to sneak personal time, “Null & Void”.
Now, don’t worry. This is neither a post where I crib about my job nor am I gonna give tips on how to maintain work life balance :D. This post is purely about an awesome experience that I had by just deciding to break free from my usual monotony though it offered a safety net and kept me in a physically comforting zone and deciding to jump into action whenever presented with an opportunity.
Regular readers of my Blog know my huge affinity towards Archaeology and for a very long time it had been my dream to explore a cave all by myself. Recently I was assigned to train a big batch of teachers on Effective Teaching Methodology and inclusion of technology into day-to-day teaching at a place called TADIPATRI in Andra Pradesh. This place is known for its carvings of the early Vijayanagara period and is often referred to as a treasure-house of fine Vijayanagara sculptures. Very near to this town is Indian sub continent’s second largest cave and the longest caves in plains of Indian Subcontinent, BELUM CAVES. When I came to know that I was just 30 KMs away from it, I was ready to risk every Business related shortcomings and decided come-what-may, I am exploring it today.I immediately jumped into action and collected all information and articles I require for this and the only thing that stood between me and my dream was this training. It was a 4 hour session scheduled to start at 11 AM and end around 4:30 PM. Even if I start at 4:45PM I would reach Belum caves only around 5:30 PM which is exactly its closing time. So, without wasting a moment, I contacted the person from the school and with all the convincing skills I have acquired over my 6 years of corporate tuning, I persuaded them to reschedule the training to 9 AM and after few moments of negotiation, they agreed for 9:30AM . From then on.. it was game on!!
The training ended at 1 PM and I was in a bus at 1:20 and by 2:00 I was at Belum Caves. With the temperature reading a scorching 41 Degrees and being a weekday afternoon, the otherwise bustling spot looked like an ideal spot for a post apocalyptic movie shoot.
As I walked the rough 1 km stretch from entrance to the ticket counter I was both happy and surprised to see that I was only one around to enter after noon and the guy at the ticket counter asked if I wanted to wait until someone turns up, for walking all alone into a natural underground cave formed by the constant flow of underground water with stalactite and stalagmite formations can make your mind play games with you. This made me not to wait a minute more for exploring one of the largest cave in India all alone is no normal opportunity. With no guide around and armed with my outdated smart phone, I entered the cave and what ever happened inside with remain etched forever in my head.It was a both spiritually enlightening and artistically enchanting experience. The former needs a separate post for itself so will not explain why and how it was spiritually enlightening later but why “enchanting” can be understood through the following pics which I took with my smart phone( How I wish I had a DSLR).
Inside, the cave was illuminated by a monochromatic sodium vapour lamps that added a mystic beauty by casting strange shadows and the art that nature inflicts has always been superior to any.
This whole experience made me understand few things that I believe will change my life forever. For a new start.
1. People are ready to help and adjust. It’s just us who are ever-reluctant to ask. So when you need something, ASK. Nothing wrong in asking 🙂
2. Life always presents you with opportunities. Its only your decision and the corresponding action that helps you grab.Nothing/none can be blamed if you miss.
3. All time is now. Never settle for “LATER”
4. It’s neither work nor it is life. Happiness lies where both BALANCE.